classic cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon Rolls | Solano's Kitchen

Even though he doesn’t eat them very often, Daren has a huge weak spot for a certain mall-kiosk-based dessert of the humongous cinnamon roll variety.  Instead of describing these any further, I’ll let Louis CK do the talking for me here (just an FYI – if you’ve never seen Louis CK, there are parts of that clip that may be a little offensive – and definitely a few small parts that are NSFW. But he’s hilarious.  You’ve been warned.)

Cinnamon Rolls 2 | Solano's Kitchen

These classic cinnamon rolls are just like those delicious ones from the mall – only better.  Because when isn’t homemade better?

Cinnamon Rolls 3 | Solano's Kitchen

I’m going to leave it at that for today.  They’re worth the effort.  Do it.

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) warm milk (100-110°F)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (2 5/8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut up
  •  4 1/2 cups (19 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (7 1/4 ounces) brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • OR 1 cup Baker’s Cinnamon Filling plus 1/4 cup water (I love this stuff!)

For the icing:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the warm milk, yeast and a pinch of sugar.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture bubbles up and a foamy texture is created on the top.  If this doesn’t happen, you need some new yeast!

In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining dough ingredients.  Pour the milk/yeast mixture into the mixing bowl and stir together until a cohesive dough is formed.  Transfer to a lightly floured surface and continue to knead until smooth and supple, 8-10 minutes.  Alternatively, you can mix and knead the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on medium-low speed (this may take less time).  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat all sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for approximately 60 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

Once doubled, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll out to a 16 x 21-inch rectangle.  Spread the surface of the dough with the 1/3 cup butter, then mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top, leaving an inch border on one of the short ends.  Alternatively, stir together the Baker’s Cinnamon Filling and the 1/4 cup water, then spread the dough with this mixture.

Starting with the short end that does not have the border, roll the dough into a log.  Gently cut the log into 12 even slices.  Using clean, unflavored dental floss to cut the dough will keep it from flattening – otherwise use a very sharp knife and be gentle!  To use dental floss, place the floss under the roll where you would like to cut, then take the 2 ends of the floss and cross them over the top of the roll.  Pull tightly on the floss until it slices through the dough.

Place the cut rolls in a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise in a warm place for approximately 30 minutes, or until nearly doubled in bulk.  While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Bake the rolls until golden brown, approximately 15 minutes.  While the rolls are baking, whisk together the ingredients for the icing.  Spread the icing over the rolls while they are still warm to allow the icing to melt a little into the rolls.  The cinnamon rolls taste best fresh and warm from the oven, but they are nearly as good later on after a quick turn in the microwave!

Yield: 12 large cinnamon rolls

Source: King Arthur Flour

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